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Displays Input Devices Portables (Apple)

A Turning Point for Touch Screens, Says the NYT 129

Posted by timothy
from the they-sure-make-gps-devices-handier dept.
The New York Times has a story up on the suddenly brisk market for touch screens and the devices which can make use of them, which it says "has grown quietly for years, both in commercial applications and in consumer devices." Besides the obvious (the iPhone, and Apple's use of multi-touch generally), the article also mentions the recent inclusion of Israeli company N-Trig's version of multi-touch technology in a Dell notebook computer, and some of the other places you can expect to see touchscreens instead of display-only ones in the near future — if the price drops quickly enough.
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A Turning Point for Touch Screens, Says the NYT

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  • by predder (1168803) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @12:31AM (#24724219)

    Forget the optimus, what about a touch screen keyboard? Sure, there's no feedback (yet) but the user could change the input style at will, using it as a mouse/tablet/music mixing device etc.

  • Exciting news, but (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Aerynvala (1109505) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @01:12AM (#24724345) Homepage
    what's always bothered me about touchscreen technology is the screen getting dirty. It annoys me when my non-touch monitor gets smudges as it is. I freely admit, however, that I have very little direct experience with touchscreens and perhaps these new ones (iPhone, etc) have some nifty way of dealing with that.
  • The DS? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @01:37AM (#24724439)
    I imagine that the first prolonged, day-to-day experience with a touchscreen for a lot of people would be the Nintendo DS. It's got a user base a lot larger, and demographically wider, than that of the iPhone. This isn't to knock Apple's tech and design achievements with that device and their trackpads, but I think the DS was probably pivotal in getting the general public used to operating devices with purely virtual buttons.
  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @01:39AM (#24724445)
    I'm very unimpressed with the touch panel for typing on the iPhone and iPod touch

    Hmm, do you type on one of those regularly?

    Yes, the physical typing experience on iPhone is pretty poor, but I find that the auto correction software pretty much makes up for it. I can type just about as fast on iPhone as on another small keyboard with physical buttons, and even though I make horrible typing errors it fixes them on the fly perfectly almost every time. You just have to trust it, just like it says in the video. On the other hand I do sometimes type in another language which is not supported by iphone (Serbian) and the result is a mess. But as long as you are typing regular text (not a lot of names or code or something) in a supported language, the software can go a long way to make use of it on a daily basis fairly bearable. On the other hand, there are considerable advantages in size, weight, flexibility etc in having the keyboard on the screen as needed so perhaps it's worth getting used to it.
  • by A Wise Guy (1006169) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @02:16AM (#24724587)
    My beloved zaurus is ahead of the current times. It runs linux xfce as well as other rom images ranging from debian to kde or qtopias flavor. It has a Touchscreen. If configured properly, It has all the desktop applications available for it as well as including game emulators. My Current pocket size zaurus has over 64gb diskspace (4gb sd not included). It stores well over Tons of hours of my music cd collection as well as tons of hours of my HD home movies converted easily with avidemux from a xacti high definition hd 1000. iphone is junk! Zaurus has had voice over ip since it's roots. The touchscreen is a must for any screen! It is still well ahead of the current times even for the next 10 years. Too bad sharp discontinued it. Touchscreen is the way of the future!
  • by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @02:31AM (#24724625)
    Right, so here's my incredibly important opinion that you must agree with. Apple implemented this nifty multi-touch thing on the iPhone (and consequently on the iPod Touch). What they need to do now is extend this multi-touch thing to the computers as well. Heck, if I can see some darn thing on the screen and I want to drag it around or whatever, why shouldn't I be able to just reach out and do that? There should still be a keyboard and a rat for now. Mouse pads should also incorporate multi-touch. I think the keys on the keyboard should all have tiny displays embedded in them that can display any character. Thus, when you switch languages, the keyboard mapping will change and the keys themselves will show what character they'll type. Push Ctrl, Alt, Fn, Open-Apple, Shift, or whatever, and the keys will immediately change to reflect the characters that will be typed. Thus, lowercase letters will be displayed until Shift is held down, at which point they'll change to uppercase and the number keys will change to the symbols on those same keys. Hit Caps Lock and the appropriate behavior will take place. No more people getting confused why their password isn't being accepted or pushing all kinds of wrong keys looking for that dang ñ key when you're typing in Spanish or whatever. Simple. So, where were we? Oh yeah. Take these computers to the next level. Multi-touch on all computer displays and mouse pads. Keyboards where individual keys display what they will do. And while we're at it, how about a non-broken X implementation like there used to be in Tiger?!?
  • by KGIII (973947) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @03:00AM (#24724711) Journal

    I guess I'm stuck in my mindset. I can still only see the touch screen as a valid method of data input in a few limited capacities. I see it as a nice addition to the POS systems, gaming systems, phones, and maybe some other small consumer gadgets.

    I can't envision me, personally, wanting to code using the screen. I can see me wanting to navigate a GPS unit or a building directory with one.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @03:11AM (#24724749)

    ... and yet people say the iPhone sucks without even knowing what it can do.

  • Re:bad idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by avandesande (143899) on Sunday August 24, 2008 @08:46AM (#24725831) Journal

    I think you are right, but for the wrong reasons. The same things applies to voice recognition, it will never replace keyboards in the office.
    How fatiguing and tedious would it be to talk to your computer all day? Imagine how noisy the office would be.
    Likewise, how about using a touchscreen all day? Your arm would feel like it was ready to fall off. Like it or not, a mouse takes little physical effort and lends itself to the sitting position.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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